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Old 04-19-2011, 06:24 AM   #1
Mar 2011
dallas, tx
Posts: 62

I recently dry-hopped for the first time- black imperial IPA- and I didn't use hop socks. After listening to the Brew Network episode on dry hopping, I decided I'd forego using hop socks so as to increase surface area exposure to promote the mixing of aromatic oils into solution.

Now I'm stuck with the question of how to most effectively separate my beer from the hop particles.

In browsing previous posts, I've seen several suggestions that have been put forth-

placing a hop sock/nylon sack/fishing net over the auto-siphon

placing the aforementioned filters on the other end of the siphon (on the hose that feeds in to the bottling bucket)

cold-crashing to settle particulate hop matter

what are the pros/cons of each method, which do you recommend, and why?

As far as cold-crashing is concerned, I don't have a ferm. fridge, so it may not be an option- unless I can cold-crash with ice water?

Thanks in advance for your input!

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Old 04-19-2011, 07:25 AM   #2
Zen_Brew's Avatar
May 2009
Posts: 1,864
Liked 23 Times on 23 Posts

Well, I'd guess if you get multiple people answering you will eventually get all the suggestions you already posted.

You do not mention if you dry hopped with whole hops or pellets. Pellets will create much more particulate matter in the beer. If you dry hopped with leaf hop you will have much less possibility of drawing up hop debris when you rack.

For myself I use a piece a very fine filter material such as you might get if you cut up a fine grain sack. I sanitize it, place it over the end of the racking cane with a sanitized rubber band and use that. I guess I recommend that because it has worked for me for a long time.

If you try not to disturb the carboy to much when you move it you should not have a whole lot of material stirred up in the beer.

Also if you wish to cold crash, it can be a simple as placing the carboy in a cooler with water and a bunch of ice and letting it sit for several hours to a day.
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Old 04-19-2011, 04:14 PM   #3
Sep 2008
Posts: 24

My experience is most of the debris gets left behind with your trub anyway, so no need for additional filtering. If a lot does end up in your secondary, just let it settle for a few days / week then transfer again & leave that settled trub behind again. Repeat as desired.

Cold crashing helps with this, as it causes more material to settle (and settle faster), but without a fridge I'd hesitate to recommend an ice bath or any such alternate method. That is a lot of work for a slight change is clarity, (not to mention highly inefficient).

I've had mixed experience with filters... They tend to get clogged up and just end up being a pain to clean. Just make sure your filter is submerged if it's on your output end... aeration is bad for beer after your primary fermentation is done.

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Old 04-19-2011, 05:45 PM   #4
DeafSmith's Avatar
Jan 2009
Richardson, TX
Posts: 1,448
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I use a jumbo size (23 by 35 inch) grain bag as a liner in my bottling bucket. I boil the bag to sanitize it, then place it in the bucket, folding the excess over the top of the bucket and secure that with a bungee cord around the outside of the bucket. After racking I lift out the bag with the hop residue. Because the bag is big enough to sit all the way down in the bottom of the bucket there is no risk of oxidation. This is the bag I use:


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Old 04-19-2011, 08:51 PM   #5
a_potter's Avatar
Apr 2011
flint, mi
Posts: 156
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I also use the jumbo sized bag but I just put it over the siphon. Works great for leaf hops but I've never tried it with pellets. I used iodophor to sanitize it then just let it dry for a while before using.

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Old 04-19-2011, 10:44 PM   #6
Dec 2006
Posts: 40

I would not worry about it. All the hassle of dealing with a little bit of hops particle isn't a big deal if you and your buddies are going to be drinking it. I usually do not get to much sucked up anyway. I am kegging now and just let the beer sit in the keg for a few days and the first glass might have a little bit of hops in it but that doesn't bother me.

I did use hop bags a few years back and found that I got a lot more flavor/aroma by just pitching the hops straight into the secondary.

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Old 04-23-2011, 05:12 PM   #7
Mar 2010
tucson, arizona
Posts: 67

if you are looking for cheaper bags, get some paint straining bags at home depot. they have an elastic band that fits of a 5 gallon buck and a bag of 2 of them is about $4. i use them all the time to filter out pellet hops after the boil. since i keg though i use a canister filter between 2 kegs when im transfering, but the hops really clog up the filter

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Old 04-24-2011, 03:27 AM   #8
Bullbythehorns's Avatar
Dec 2007
Lake of the Ozarks, MO
Posts: 150
Liked 5 Times on 4 Posts

I rack it to the keg with my auto-siphon and I have not had any trouble sending any to the keg. Worst case if some hops are transferred, the first pint pulled will have some foreign matter, but will clear after that.
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